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BSc Computer Science and Mathematics / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Operating Systems

Course unit fact file
Unit code COMP15212
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This course introduces the concept of an operating system -- the layer of software that mediates between the computer’s underlying hardware, and the processes and users of that hardware.

Learning outcomes

  • Describe the components of a modern operating system, including scheduling and other resource allocation, security, memory management and paging, and filestore management 2. Explain how the components of a modern operating system work together to mediate between users/applications and the underlying hardware.

  • Describe the requirements and constraints of different styles of OS such as desktop, embedded, mobile and high-performance computing.

  • Design combinations of components that meet the requirements and constraints of a given real word scenario.

  • Construct programs and use tools to demonstrate and profile Operating System behaviour.


Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, workshops, clinics, coursework, face to face mentoring by TAs. Use of online quizzes.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 80%
Practical skills assessment 20%

Recommended reading

Tanembaum (2016) Modern Operating Systems, ISBN:978-9332575776

Silberschatz, Galvin and Gagne (2013) Operating System Concepts, ISBN:978-1118093757

COMP15212 reading list can be found on the Department of Computer Science internal pages

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 40
Practical classes & workshops 20
Independent study hours
Independent study 40

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Stephen Pettifer Unit coordinator

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